Harvest Moon (Riverbend #3) Read Online Denise Hunter

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: Riverbend Series by Denise Hunter

Total pages in book: 97
Estimated words: 92767 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 464(@200wpm)___ 371(@250wpm)___ 309(@300wpm)

She thought he was arrogant. He thought her walls would never come down. Then they fell in love.
Forever walking the line between passion and conflict, Laurel and Gavin’s relationship ended in divorce after years of miscommunication and unmet expectations. Now pursuing their own separate lives and careers, the two are content . . . though not completely happy.

When their best friends, Mike and Mallory, are killed in a plane crash, Laurel and Gavin are stunned to learn they’ve been named guardians of their friends’ young daughter, Emma. Putting their differences aside, the estranged couple search for a suitable guardian as they care for Emma and manage Mike and Mallory’s apple orchard.

Soon tempers flare—as does the passion they both remember so well. And Laurel and Gavin find themselves working through their past—their mistakes, their miscommunications, and ultimately the tragedy that ended their marriage.
Will the seeds of love, still growing inside them, thrive and flourish? Or will grief and regret strangle the feelings before they can fully blossom?


Chapter 1

It was not the sort of day when bad things happened. Eighty degrees. September breeze. Sky expanding, wide and blue, above a canopy of trees. Air thick with the fresh smell of pine and the loamy scent of earth. It was a perfect Saturday.

Gavin Robinson had reached the summit of Roan Mountain just after noon, enjoyed a sandwich, and was now trekking back down the trail. After months of setting up Robinson Construction, LLC, he finally had a free weekend. The late-afternoon sun had fallen behind the mountain hours ago, and evening was quickly approaching when his phone vibrated in his pocket. It was a miracle he had a signal this far from civilization.

He fished the phone from his pants pocket. His brother’s face lit up the screen. Gavin stopped midpath and swiped at the sweat trickling down his temple. “Hey, Coop. What’s up?”

“Where are you?”

Cooper’s tense tone put him on instant alert. Had their stepdad suffered another heart attack? “Heading back from Roan. What’s wrong?”

“We got a call from Dispatch earlier. Someone reported a small plane going down. A subsequent call reported a definite crash south of Marshall. Gavin . . . it was a yellow plane.”

His breath stuttered in his lungs. Mike, his best friend, was a proud owner of a Cessna Skyhawk—the only yellow plane kept at the local airfield. Had Mike taken Mallory and Emma for a joyride today? He pictured the young family as he’d seen them last weekend, working their apple orchard, Mallory steadying a ladder for Mike while two-year-old Emma toddled barefoot around the grassy property chasing butterflies.

Please, God, let them be all right.

“He’s a good pilot,” Gavin said.

“I know.”

Gavin heard what Cooper hadn’t said: a dozen things could go wrong, despite a pilot’s expertise.

“Took me a while to reach you—I’m almost to the crash site now. The medevac arrived minutes ago. I gotta go. I’ll have details soon, and I’ll call you back when I know more.”

Gavin disconnected, turned on his ringer, and set off at a fast pace. He was glad his brother was sheriff—he’d get answers quickly. But Gavin had a gut feeling the downed plane was Mike’s. Only one question remained: Had the crash been survivable?

He refused to believe otherwise. Instead, he made a plan as he rushed down the trail. He would head straight to Mission Hospital, where they would transport the Claytons. He would use Mike’s phone to access his parents’ number and call them with the bad news. Mallory’s mom was her only living relative, but they were estranged.

Emma. He remembered the girl’s blonde curls bouncing as she’d played hide-and-seek with him in the orchard last weekend. “’Ere are you, Gabin?”

His traitorous mind conjured up the image of her tiny body sprawled in the plane seat: unconscious, pale skinned, blood oozing from her gashed head.

No. He couldn’t think about that. He had to remain positive.

A while later he glanced at his watch. It seemed as if hours had passed since the call. He’d made good progress though. He was almost to his car now, but the hospital was more than an hour away. He said yet another prayer for the Claytons, his throat thickening as he begged God for mercy.

His phone pealed, breaking through the sounds of nature. Cooper. He accepted the call. “Tell me you have good news.”

A beat of silence. “I’m sorry, man. Mike didn’t make it.”

Gavin’s chest squeezed tight. His feet faltered to a stop. He struggled to draw a breath.


“Mallory’s being airlifted to Mission. But it doesn’t look good, Gavin. They think she has life-threatening injuries.”

God, please . . . no. He could hardly process it all. His best friend . . . gone, just like that. And Mallory barely hanging on. “Emma?”

“She wasn’t on board. Thank God for that. The plane is . . . It’s a wonder Mallory survived the crash, buddy.”